Infected Neutering Incision: Is It Time For A Trip To The Vet?
If you just got your dog neutered, then your dog may be in for a tough few weeks. Your dog is likely to be in a bit of pain after the surgery, and the hormone imbalance caused by neutering is likely to make your dog feel and act weird for a bit of time.
This is why you don't need something like an infected neuter incision causing even more problems for your dog. An infected incision can be painful and could lead to bigger issues that your dog, and you, do not need.
In today's article, we will take a look at how to identify an infected neuter incision, what to do if your dog's incision is infected, and how you can go about preventing the problem from occurring.
What Does An Infected Neuter Incision Look Like?
Before you can decide if you have a problem on your hands, you need to know what it is that you're looking for:
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As seen in the image above, if your dog has an infected neuter incision, the incision will often be surrounded by swollen, dark red skin. This will often be accompanied with yellow or green puss-like fluid that will be leaking from the wound.
Should your dog's incision look similar to this, then it is likely infected. Read on to learn more about what caused it and what you should do.
What Causes An Infection After Neutering?
A number of potential reasons can cause a post-surgery infection for your dog as follows:
- Open Suturing: The suturing of the dog's neuter incision can come undone for a number of reasons, either do to licking of the wound or a poor suture job. Should the stitching come undone, it can lead to a build-up of bacteria in the wound, resulting in infection.
- Excessive Licking: While it is a natural instinct for a dog to lick their wounds, allowing them to lick at a fresh incision too much can irritate it and allow bacteria in, which leads to infection.
- Getting Dirty: While it may seem a bit obvious to say, you should try to prevent your dog from playing in the mud and dirt while their incision is still fresh. If they do so, the grime has the potential to get inside the wound and cause problems.
- Bathing: While it may seem like a good idea to try and keep your dog clean by bathing them after the surgery, the wetness from water can help to be a breeding ground for bacteria, making it more likely for infection to get inside your dog's neuter incision.
- Infection Prior To Surgery: If your dog happened to have some sort of scrotal infection prior to surgery, then it can easily lead to infection of the neuter incision after the fact.
What To Do If Your Dog's Incision Is Infected
The best option available to you if your dog's incision becomes infected is to see your vet as soon as possible. The vet will be able to give you any antibiotics that you may need to cure the infection, and will also make sure that there aren't any further complications from the infection.
If you are not able to immediately get your dog to the vet, clean around the wound using a damp (not overly wet) warm cloth. It's also recommended to do your best to prevent your dog from licking the wound further if at all possible.
DO NOT use a substance like Hydrogen Peroxide on your dog's incision! Doing so can actually kill healthy cells, which can make the infection worse than it already was.
How To Prevent Infection
If you are concerned that your dog may get infection post-neuter, then take the following precautions when caring for your dog at home:
Get An Elizabethan Collar
Also more commonly known as a “Cone”, this collar will prevent your dog from licking its incision.
Keep The Wound Dry
As said above, moisture helps breed bacteria, so to prevent infection, do your best to keep the dog's incision as dry as possible.
Take Shorter Walks
With all the dirt outside, the longer a dog is outdoors, the more likely they are to develop an infection. To keep your dog safe, reduce the time and distance of your dog's walks until their wound heals.
Clean Your House
Eliminating as much mess as possible in your home, either by cleaning the floors or disinfecting your dog's bed, can help to prevent post-surgery complications. Just make sure that you do this cleaning prior to your dog's surgery, as you'll want any potentially wet surface to be dry by the time your dog is home.
Monitor Your Dog
Keep an eye on your dog in the days following the neutering to prevent them from doing anything that may irritate or infect the wound.
For more on the topic of dog neutering and potential complications, the following video is a good source of information:
Your dog getting an infection in its neuter incision is no fun for anyone involved, especially your poor dog. With this article, you now know:
- How to spot an infection.
- What causes infection.
- How to treat and prevent neuter infections.
This information will help you to keep your dog healthy in the days and weeks following their neutering, allowing them to heal up properly.
If you have any more questions or wish to share a story about your own experience, leave a comment down below. We are happy to help you with any concerns you may have!
Thank you for reading!